Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated,
To: Division I Hockey Prospect
From: Unauthorized Arizona State Recruiting Coordinator
I hope you are enjoying another lovely winter in Saskatchewan. I see the temperature has risen to –20º Celsius and the latest blizzard only dropped a foot of snow. Congratulations. It sounds like you may get to see the sun by Easter.
I understand you are receiving loads of letters like this from all the major college hockey programs in the U.S. You have probably visited their enchanting campuses in Grand Forks, N.D.; Mankato, Minn.; and Lowell, Mass. I’ve been meaning to take the family to Lowell for vacation.
Recruiters from the established powers will try to sell you on their rich traditions. All we have to offer, they claim, are these tiresome 75º February days and tedious spring-break-style pool parties. But before you sign up for four years in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, let me kick off my flip-flops and tell you a little about Arizona State hockey. I’ll keep this short. I know you’re going ice fishing today—catch that walleye!—and I have a tee time beckoning at TPC Scottsdale.
We have five NHL games on the schedule tonight plus a few alternatives too...
from Sam Cosentino of Sportsnet,
Friday Night Hockey makes its way back to Kingston for an OHL tilt pitting the Erie Otters up against the Kingston Frontenacs. It’s also a match-up of world junior gold medalists Connor McDavid and Lawson Crouse.
Erie’s win-streak came to an end on Thursday when they dropped a 6-5 decision to the Peterborough Petes. The Otters have still won six of their past seven. The high-scoring trio of Connor McDavid, Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat got a boost when Remi Elie and Jake Marchment were brought in from Belleville to add depth to an already potent lineup.
continued and this game will be on the NHL Network US starting at 7:00pm ET tonight.
DETROIT – Olympia Entertainment has announced that tonight’s “Duel in the D” between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University at Joe Louis Arena is sold out. College hockey fans can catch all the action of tonight’s game between the inter-state rivals on FOX Sports Detroit at 7:30 p.m.
Michigan and Michigan State have met at least once per season at Joe Louis Arena since 1990, with the Wolverines holding the series advantage at The Joe with a 14-9-4 record.
from Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,
HOUGHTON, Mich. — Hockey rules this remote part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where it is played by everyone from children to those in their 70s and 80s. All through the long winter it is always game on — in modern arenas, outside (into the wee hours of the night) and in two of the oldest hockey rinks in the world.
Professional hockey was born here in Copper Country in 1902, 15 years before the N.H.L. was formed. Even before that, the game was king in Houghton, Hancock, Calumet and nearby towns when they were at the center of a mining boom.
The mining is gone, the woods dotted with abandoned buildings and ghost towns. Only about 44,000 live in the area now, but the love affair with hockey endures. And the Michigan Tech Huskies are winning again, at last.
from Gary Sataniello of the New York Times,
The Sun Devils’ promotion to N.C.A.A. status opens college hockey to the West and to a metropolitan area of four million people, and it gives the N.C.A.A. a 60th Division I program.
The ultimate goal is the creation of a Pacific-12 hockey conference. Currently, Arizona State plays in Division I of the American Collegiate Hockey Association, where it was ranked No. 1 with a record of 18-1-0 entering the weekend. Arizona and Colorado play in the same division. The other Pac-12 teams play in A.C.H.A. Division II, except for Oregon State, which has no hockey program.
Arizona State’s athletic director, Ray Anderson, hired in January after more than seven years as the N.F.L.’s executive vice president for football operations, said the Pac-12 supported the move.
“The hope is that Arizona State will tip the dominoes to get some of the Northern schools, in Washington and Oregon, and our folks in California who have programs and probably don’t want to see us competing when they’re not,” he said.
Arizona State Vice President of University Athletics Ray Anderson announced the elevation of the 2014 ACHA National Championship ASU Men’s Ice Hockey program to NCAA Division I status.
The announcement makes men’s ice hockey Sun Devil Athletics’ 23rd NCAA-sponsored sport. It was made possible by hockey supporters, including Don Mullett, the father of former Sun Devil hockey student-athlete Chris Mullett, who came together to donate $32 million to elevate the program.
“Head coach Greg Powers has built a powerhouse ice hockey program here in Tempe, and because of his work it was probably a matter not of ‘if’ but ‘when’ Sun Devil Hockey would be ready to compete at the highest level,” Anderson said. “I am grateful for the generosity shown by our hockey supporters to make this move possible, and I am hopeful that more members of the extended Sun Devils Athletics family will help us grow this program for the future.”
Arizona State is the first power-five conference school to add men’s ice hockey since the Big Ten’s Penn State added the sport in 2012....
Sun Devil hockey will phase into Division I competition over the next three years by playing a hybrid schedule in 2015 with a mixture of DI and ACHA completion, followed in 2016 by full DI schedule independent of conference alignment.
"Everyone was picking out partners (to fight), but nobody wanted to pick Gordie Howe. And so there was some bad language and some bad blood out on the ice. And this guy is hanging onto me, we'd already dropped our gloves, and I thought we were breaking up. And all of a sudden Howe sort of skates by and he elbows the guy in the face. And his head looked like it just about came off. And so this guy comes back and grabs onto me even harder -- like he doesn't want anything to do with Gordie Howe. And Gordie was about 40 at that time. That's the kind of reverence he got from so-called tough guys in the league, and Gordie was an old man at that time."
-Red Berenson, U of M head hockey coach on Gordie Howe. Much more from Steve Kornacki of MGOBLUE.
from John Buccigross of ESPN,
Jack Eichel is that classic -- often reported as extinct -- middle-class American kid. Oh, and as his BU head coach David Quinn said, "He's a physical freak with strength, vision and an NHL shot." That helps, too.
But, as we have seen many times in sports, those skills are not enough. No one does it alone.
A lava lamp's function is not to create light, but to create a mood. As your eyes fixate, the unpredictable, syrupy movements put you in a state of calmed focus. It's hard to take your eyes off it.
Boston University marked its lava lamp with a firetruck-red No. 9. There's a new kid in town.
I drove up to Boston last weekend to see and meet the kid in person. Jack Eichel is a 6-foot-1, 18-year-old buoyant blob of wax still cooling and congealing as he makes his purposeful strides toward the 2015 NHL draft in Sunrise, Florida.
Eichel's name will be the first or second called next June 26. He will hold up an NHL jersey (Buffalo's? Carolina's? Winnipeg's? Arizona's? Florida's? Toronto's?), smile and begin his NHL career soon after.
from Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,
Jack Eichel is 17 and recently began attending freshman classes at Boston University. But he will be the central figure in the N.H.L. season that begins Wednesday.
If you are not a hockey fan, you may not have heard of Eichel. Those who have seen him, though, already compare him to players like Mike Modano, Patrick Kane, Evgeni Malkin and even Mario Lemieux.
“His first two strides are as explosive as I’ve ever seen at this level,” said Jim Johannson, a USA Hockey executive since 2000.
Kevin Prendergast, an N.H.L. scout and front office executive for 30 years, said: “It’s not just his speed; it’s his skill, his hockey sense. It doesn’t even look like he’s trying, but the puck comes to him. He makes things happen.”
Ed Olczyk, who won a Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1994, said, “His reach — I haven’t seen anything like it since Mario.”
from Jashvina Shah at Shnarped,
- Returning powerhouse
Last season, Minnesota powered its way to the Frozen Four, ending rival North Dakota’s season with 0.6 seconds left in the semifinals. Union ended Minnesota’s season in the national championship game, but the Gophers return one of the strongest rosters in the country. The team’s top-five scorers will return, including Kyle Rau. And the Golden Gophers have one of the best goalkeepers in the country in Adam Wilcox, who was key to Minnesota’s run last season.
- Miami, Michigan Poised for Bounce Back Seasons
On the opposite side, Miami and Michigan turned in letdown seasons. But the Wolverines a have solid leadership in captain Andrew Copp. The Wolverines lost Alex Guptill and Phil Di Giuseppe a year early, but they’re a couple losses in exchange for a freshman class that should help Michigan make it back to the NCAA tournament.
from Danny Ecker of Crain's Chicago,
Outdoor hockey is coming back to Soldier Field next year.
The third-annual Hockey City Classic is slated for the lakefront stadium on Feb. 7, offering a college hockey doubleheader of the University of Michigan versus Michigan State University and Miami University versus Western Michigan University.
After staging this year's games at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Chicago-based sports and entertainment company Intersport is bringing the event back to the site that hosted the inaugural games in 2013.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org